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Cybersquatting claims filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) rose by almost 5% last year, fuelled by a growth in the number of cases concerning new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
In 2015, 2,754 Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) claims were filed, a 4.6% increase on the number in 2014.
Disputes centring on new gTLDs accounted for 10.5% of the number cybersquatting claims filed. New gTLDs .xyz, .club and .email were among the most common new suffixes to be the subject of UDRP claims, WIPO said.
WIPO director general Francis Gurry said: “As brand owners face the possibility of further abuse of their trademarks in domains—both old and new—they continue to rely on WIPO’s cybersquatting dispute resolution procedures.
“By combating opportunistic domain name registration practices, WIPO’s services help consumers to find authentic web content and enhance the reliability of the domain name system,” he added.
WIPO said it expects the number of cybersquatting claims to increase as more new gTLDs are rolled out in the near future. It pointed to the expected approval of .shop by ICANN as one source of potential future increases, and referenced interest from brands including Twitter in obtaining a ‘dot brand’ gTLD (first reported here on TBO).
US-based companies led the way in filing the challenges (847), with France, Germany and the UK second, third and fourth respectively.
The fashion industry was responsible for 10% of the claims last year, WIPO reported, while banking, finance and IT companies accounted for 9% each.
WIPO; cybersquatting; UDRP; new gTLDs; World Intellectual Property Organization